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  • 26th Mar 2011
  • KO 06:35
  • Ground: Waikato Stadium

Chiefs v Blues: Teams

At Waikato Stadium, Saturday March 26, kick-off 06.35 GMT

Last updated: 24th March 2011   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Chiefs v Blues: Teams

Delany: Returns at stand-off

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Chiefs back Mike Delany has been handed the fly-half responsibilities for Saturday's derby meeting with the Blues in Hamilton.

Delany comes in for the injured Stephen Donald and will partner Brendon Leonard, who celebrates his 50th game in a Chiefs jersey this weekend.

"We are still looking for improvement this weekend as we continue to grow as a team," said coach Ian Foster.

"While we were really pleased with the mental strength and the diligence of our pack last week we know we have to keep improving, particularly our backs' overall skill and ball retention."

In the only other change to the starting line-up, Sona Taumalolo has been handed his first start of the Super Rugby season at loosehad.

Blues coach Pat Lam has recalled Joe Rokocoko to his starting line-up in the sole change to his side.

The All Black wing had been axed him from the 22 to face the Hurricanes last week, only for him to come onto the bench after Benson Stanley twinged his calf during the captain's run.

However he seems to have shown enough during his 38 minute appearance to edge ahead of Sherwin Stowers for the starting left wing spot.

"Joe was better but he's still got a way to go," Lam said, speaking to the Blues website.

"It's fair to say that weighing up him and Sherwin, Sherwin wasn't as good as he could have been so Joe gets an opportunity. I've been watching him off the field and making sure the hunger and desire is still there and it looks like it is.

"He's had a good chat with the All Black coaches this week so it's a big opportunity for him to take."

The addition of Rokocoko is the only change to the starting XV that thrashed the Hurricanes 41-17 at Eden Park last week, although Lam has bracketed Sherwin Stowers and Benson Stanley on the bench.

Stanley is still overcoming his calf injury and a decision as to whether he will play or not will be made following training on Thursday.

Chiefs: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Tana Umaga, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Liam Messam (capt), 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Scott Waldrom, 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Nathan White, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Sona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Toby Smith, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 Fritz Lee, 20 Taniela Moa, 21 Dwayne Sweeney, 22 Save Tokula.

Blues: 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Rene Ranger, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Joe Rokocoko, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Anthony Boric, 4 Kurtis Haiu, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (capt), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Teofilo Paulo, 19 Mat Luamanu, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Lachie Munro, 22 Benson Stanley/Sherwin Stowers.

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